This Justice League poster was released into the wild on April 12th, presenting Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg striding purposefully forward with the waning sun behind them. It reads “Unite The League”.
And while it’s true the heroes are walking in a group, and seem to be focused on the same goals, whatever they may be, the presentation does give a two-tiered effect of who is most important in the film, and even a secondary effect of who is closest to the viewer being the biggest focus in the film.
And the results are not surprising if we look at the poster in that manner. Batman is the most well-known character, and even the most well-known actor in the film, so he’s closest and the profile of his cowl sets the tone for the image. His head is even centered in the middle of the word “Unite”. So, this league has a leader, yes? And it’s clearly Batman.
I’m relieved that Wonder Woman is at least in second place. If she had been positioned in the back row, this would be a much more critical article. Because she’s pushed forward a little, ahead of Batman, we get to see her full costume and she has a little more personal body space to highlight her importance. Poor Flash probably gets the least space in the shot, but as a very well-known character, which may have been influenced by the success of the CW show, he is still top billing, placed in the front row.
And the back row? Well, Aquaman is pushed back in the frame about as far as he can go, but since he’s a big guy, we still get a sense of his presence and costume. Cyborg may have the rawest deal in that distant back corner, even if his red lit accents draw our attention. It’s impossible not to feel that these two are “following” and there’s no way they are in more leadership-driven roles. Again, league?
But lastly, this poster is an interesting development in the color-scheme and lighting for Justice League so far. Folks have commented on it looking “dark” and gritty in previews, maybe a little too much so. This poster captures that gleaming sepulchral light of the waning golden hour, making sure the colors on their costumes pop more, but mainly that happens because the light is directly on them. Still, it brightens the impression of Justice League, don’t you think? That may be no bad thing.